'Vital minutes lost' for Humber Rescue to rescue person in the water due to 'irresponsible' parking

'Irresponsible' parking meant that 'vital minutes' were lost for Humber Rescue on a call out to help a person in the water
-Credit: (Image: Humber Rescue)

Humber Rescue has pleaded to motorists visiting the Hessle Foreshore area to be considerate after "irresponsible" parking meant that they were delayed on a potential life or death call-out.

The independent lifeboat charity is typically called out more than 100 times a year to help people who may be in danger in the Humber. A call out to assist with a person in the water on Sunday (May 19) was delayed for several vital minutes having to navigate around a vehicle blocking the boathouse.

Fortunately, the delay did not prove to be detrimental as the casualty was successfully rescued, but the charity wants to remind people visiting the area to park safely and responsibly. Following the incident, the council says it has "regular patrols" in the area on the lookout for inconsiderate parking.

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The issue arose amid an intense and heartbreaking period for the charity with three call-outs in relatively quick succession, including a search which sadly did not end with a rescue.

Humber Rescue were tasked by Humber Coastguard to assist following reports of a person in the water on Sunday, May 19. The initial launched was delayed by multiple, vital minutes to get from boathouse to water due to having to navigate around a parked car blocking the launch site. Despite the issue, the crew still made great speed to dispatch to the reported location and assist the casualty out of the water, who was passed to the care of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Despite the setback not having a potentially devastating consequences, Humber Rescue says it's a reminder that every minute counts, and that even on a warm day, being in the water for a few minutes can end tragically.

The area is yellow-lined to ensure that Humber Rescue can access the water as quickly as possible
The area is yellow-lined to ensure that Humber Rescue can access the water as quickly as possible -Credit:Humber Rescue

Volunteer Sam Willis, 34, said that this inconsiderate parking is not a first, commenting: "Last year, we had no issues at all with people blocking us. But the year before that, we had to issue a few social media reminders. From the pager going off, it can take about ten minutes from us getting here to getting in the water, and every minute counts."

In 2020, the charity had problems with being blocked in and unable to launch. A mixture of relaxed Covid restrictions and repair to the tidal defences meant that parking was scarce as people flocked to the scenic spot.

In a statement following the latest incident, a Humber Rescue spokesperson said: "Summer is the busiest time of the year for our crew and we have been extremely busy the past few days responding to emergency incidents.

"We appreciate the foreshore is a beauty spot which attracts a large amount of visitors. However, we cannot stress enough the importance of parking responsibly.

Keep clear floor markings and yellow lines outside the Humber Rescue boathouse
Keep clear floor markings and yellow lines outside the Humber Rescue boathouse -Credit:Hull Live

"This afternoon we had a vehicle parked in a position which delayed our response. As we experienced in an incident yesterday, those lost seconds can mean the difference in our rescue efforts. We have measures in place to prevent this irresponsible behaviour, but people choose to ignore the signs and markings.

"There are Yellow lines on the floor and are clearly shown outside the station along with 'KEEP CLEAR' and signs too. We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep this area clear."

A spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council told Hull Live its enforcement teams regularly patrol the area. They said: "The area directly outside the boathouse carries parking restrictions in the form of double yellow lines, which clearly inform people that parking is prohibited.

“We also have regular patrols conducted by civil enforcement officers within the area on a routine basis. We would urge drivers to think where they park and please never restrict access or park inconsiderately.”

The charity, now 35 years into assisting on the Humber, recently marked a milestone 3,000th call-out. Operating outside the RLNI, the charity is entirely funded by public donations. It says that it costs between £60-70,000 per year to ensure the boathouse remains operational with routine checks of its three lifeboats. More information on Humber Rescue and the heroic work the charity does can be found here.